Girls are in motion at Indian Brook-learning, laughing, digging, hammering, painting, building, climbing, talking, hiking, paddling and swimming. In these activities and more, nurtured by an energetic and compassionate staff, each girl is encouraged to develop self-confidence, new skills and an abiding joy.
A typical morning starts with campers at the barn milking cows and gathering eggs. Other campers set the tables in the dining hall for breakfast and when all gather for the meal the lodge hums with movement and laughter. Camper and counselors alike bustle during the cleanup, collecting scraps for the compost and pig food, scrubbing dishes and helping in the kitchen. Morning singing fills the lodge with the joyful, powerful voices and girls and women together.
When Meeting for Worship ends with a spirited “Good Morning” and lots of hugs, it’s time for morning activities. At Barns and Gardens, a girl might learn how a sheep’s wool is shorn, carded and spun into yarn. Hammer in hand and work boots tied, that same girl might join a Work Projects crew and nail siding into a cabin, repair a bridge, or construct a seesaw. Creative Arts allows artistic freedom and discipline as campers learn to throw pots on a pottery wheel, weave a wall hanging, choreograph dances, or create sets for an all camp theatre production.
In Outdoor Living Skills girls learn how to swing an axe, predict the weather and read a map and compass. Girls use these skills on any one of our one to day-day wilderness adventures in canoeing, rock climbing and backpacking. Trips are a special and important part of Indian Brook. Each camper has an opportunity (or two or three!) to challenge herself and apply the skills that she has learned at camp on these trips. For many campers and staff, trips are the highlight of the summer.
After lunch and a rest hour the campers choose what she they want to do from the many activities offered by the staff. Should she try the ropes course, bead a necklace, play raft Frisbee with her friends, build some shelves for her cabin, harvest strawberries..? The Waterfront with its regularly scheduled swim lessons and general swim times provides the bookends for all of the day’s activities. Sounds of splashing and laughing mean it’s late in afternoon and the waterfront is the place to be. Campers explore the lake in canoes, kayaks or inner-tubes, investigate the depths with mask, snorkel and fins, challenging themselves with a distance swim, or just cool off on hot days in clear, refreshing water.
On some evenings the forest fills with woops from all camp games like Wild Women in the Woods. Other evenings, smoke wafts from the firs circles as each cabin cooks dinner over an open fire, or one hears fiddles and guitars accompanying a camp dance. Throughout the summer, girls also share personal experiences and learn about current concerns and past events ranging from civil rights to world hunger, from women’s history to environmental stewardship, from how we celebrate diversity to what it means to grow up a girl today. Campers explore these issues experientially through songs, games, skits, discussions and service projects.
As bedtime approaches, the cabins grow quiet. Staff read stories and sing lullabies and campers share the highs and lows of their days. Up and down the hill, flashlights flicker off and lightning bugs flicker on, marking the end of the day.